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    Angela Guinther

     

    Tales of the City

    Posted on 7/28/2014 by Beth Hatch in Tales of the City

    If you would like to get lost in some engrossing, not-wanting-it-to-end summer reading featuring a multitude of bohemian, eccentric, and well drawn characters whose lives play out over the decades, I suggest the you get started on the 'Tales of the City' novels by Armistead Maupin. The tales, which began as a serialized newspaper column in the San Francisco Chronicle in the 1970s, feature Cleveland's own Mary Ann Singleton (Laura Linney played her in the miniseries), a not-so-bohemian visitor to San Francisco who decided to stay and now lives in the apartment house at 28 Barbary Lane presided over by the very bohemian Anna Madrigal. Part comedy of manners, part mystery, and part soap opera (a really good soap opera) the first six novels will leave you wanting to read more about the occupants of Barbary Lane. Fortunately, Maupin picked up the stories of the three main characters again many years later, the latest just published earlier this year. I suggest you get hooked! The novels are: Tales of the City, More Tales of the City, Further Tales of the City, Babycakes, Significant Others, Sure of You, Michael Tolliver Lives, Mary Ann in Autumn, and The Days of Anna Madrigal.

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    Joyland

    Posted on 2/28/2014 by David Reynolds in Joyland

    The last Stephen King book I read was his superb short story collection Four Past Midnight several years ago. When I read the reviews of Joyland last year I was immediately reminded of one of my favorite novels from childhood, Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes: summertime, carnival, mystery, and coming of age, and knew I had to read it. I finally checked Joyland out a few days ago and was not disappointed. Excellent first person narration, vivid descriptions of place, time, and feeling. A great story that will keep you turning the pages. Don't let the Hard Case Crime imprint deter you from reading Joyland if that's not typically your thing.

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    The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream is Moving

    Posted on 1/9/2014 by David Reynolds in The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream is Moving

    While I read plenty of fiction I enjoy reading non-fiction as well. To that end, The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream is Moving by Fortune managing editor Leigh Gallagher was a must-read for me based on the title alone. Having grown up in a vibrant inner-ring suburb and being a long-time resident of Cleveland, I knew this book would be a bit like preaching to the choir but I read it nonetheless. Indeed, those who enjoy and take advantage of the benefits of city living will find themselves nodding in agreement to parts of this book. But the research goes beyond discussing the merits of access and the demerits of exurban sprawl and studies in-depth the forces at work that will make city living the dominant way of living once again: changes to the nuclear family, people sick and tired of spending an eternity in their cars and in traffic, bland and mediocre suburban design, and the renaissance occurring in cities across America. Gallagher also positively mentions various inner-ring Northeast Ohio suburbs in her well-researched book. Coincidentally, I was also reading The City by Derf, the local comic creator whose strip was the first thing I would read when picking up the Cleveland Edition, Free Times, and, later, the Scene and then The Plain Dealer. (Why is his strip no longer in the PD?) The compilation of his work had several strips regarding life in the city and in the the suburbs--an incredibly synergistic and funny complement to the End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream is Moving. If you are still interested in the topic (or want to start small), I recommend an article from the January 2014 issue of Vanity Fair: The Shape of Things to Come by Paul Goldberger. New Year's Reading Resolutions: Check out Brews+Prose, get to CPL's Reader's and Writers Series if I'm not working, and keep a reading log. Happy New Year!

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    Silent Wife

    Posted on 10/7/2013 by Amy Pawlowski in Silent Wife

    Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison is barely put downable. I have read it in the car by the light of my cell phone (while someone else was driving, of course) and stayed up way too late for a couple of nights reading the alternating 'Him' and 'Her' chapters about the disintegration of a twenty year relationship. Sounds alot like 'Gone Girl' by Gillian Flynn, right? It is in the alternating chapter writing style and it is an equally excellent thriller. It is, though, an entirely different and engrossing real time psychological thriller about deception, denial, naivete, and simmering resentments that leave no character unscathed. This debut novel of Harrison's was published as a paperback original rather than a hardcover but do not let that deceive you about the excellent writing and storytelling within. I relished the thought of Harrison's next novel but discovered, quite sadly, that she died in April just weeks before this book was published. She did, though, have the satisfaction of reading some excellent and well deserved reviews before her passing. I may just have to read this one again. And again.

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    A Hundred Summers

    Posted on 8/7/2013 by Amy Pawlowski in A Hundred Summers

    After a few fits and starts this summer, I finally found an engrossing, literary page turner in the novel 'A Hundred Summers' by Beatriz Williams. Taking place in Rhode Island and Manhattan in 1931 and 1938 and back again throughout the novel, it is a story of betrayals, family ties, friends, lovers lost and found, loyalty, and summer scandal. Add in the Hurricane of 1938 and you have a perfect storm of summer reading. This is Williams second novel and I immediately put a request on her first, 'Overseas', after finishing this well written sweeping summer saga.

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    How to Tell If Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You

    Posted on 6/6/2013 by David Reynolds in How to tell if your cat is plotting to kill you

    'How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You' by Matthew Inman. This laugh out loud graphic/comic book is a must for cat owners who have long realized that their cat is...special. The weird behaviors--as well as the normal and expected behaviors--are brilliantly exposed by Inman and the creators at Oatmeal.com to be much more sinister than you may, or may not perhaps, have expected. Also quite funny are the antics of the office working cats. A fast and funny read that will leave you smiling (and wondering) the rest of the day.

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    The Bookseller: The First Hugo Marston Novel

    Posted on 4/17/2013 by Amy Pawlowski in The Bookseller: The First Hugo Marston Novel

    Being a librarian, I am often drawn to novels about books, book clubs, bookstores, etc., which is how this well reviewed debut novel caught my eye. I was not disappointed by this mystery concerning booksellers (bouquinistes) and their buyers and collectors set in present day Paris. Hugo, head of security for the U.S. Embassy in Paris, can't prevent his favorite bookseller from being abducted by gunpoint by the river Seine but he is determined to find out who did it and why it happened. With help from a local journalist and his semi-retired CIA friend, Hugo navigates the back streets of Paris, a reluctant and sometimes corrupt police force, and political intrigue while more booksellers end up in the Seine. If you love the world of books, a good mystery, and want to escape to Paris, try this Mark Pryor novel out.

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    The Dinner : a novel

    Posted on 3/21/2013 by SuperUser Account in The Dinner : a novel

    Family secrets, lies, violence, and loyalty are revealed during one overpriced dinner at a trendy Amsterdam restaurant in this international bestseller by Dutch writer and actor Herman Koch. Praised by the likes of author Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) and book reviewers from The Economist, this award winning novel will be hard to put down. Can't wait to see the movie, which is set to debut this year.

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    Tiny Beautiful Things

    Posted on 12/27/2012 by Amy Pawlowski in Tiny Beautiful Things

    Aenean ullamcorper, mi sed sagittis semper, justo nulla pellentesque tellus, id tincidunt neque turpis a elit. Integer pretium tristique luctus. Nunc condimentum tortor tellus, ac facilisis odio.

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